Gugun Blues Shelter
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Gugun Blues Shelter

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE | AFM

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2014
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"A MODERN CLASSIC"

Indonesia is probably not the first place you'd think of when the question "Where does one of the finest guitarists on the planet call home?" is asked, but in this case, that would be the correct answer. From an island nation on the other side of the International Date Line comes one of the most exciting new guitarists to explode on the scene since a certain James Marshall Hendrix did the same over 40 years ago.

Gugun Power Trio is a classic, stripped down, no-holds-barred three piece outfit who put some real "pow" in the phrase "power trio". Projecting a true "old school" approach and "modern retro" delivery, they collectively create a heady sonic stew with heaping helpings of off-the-charts chops, heaviness, groovaciousness, wild Hendrixian stratifications from east of Neptune and greasy grooves chock full of voodoo mojo, psychedelic shimmer and crystalline clarity. I could do a track-by-track blow by blow, but this is one of the few bands I've heard where a subjective analysis could unintentionally color the objective listening experience. This is a set best experienced on your own. Needless to say, every single track is captivating, adventurous and memorable.

At the helm is Gugun, swinging and jabbing like an axe-wielding heavyweight boxer, landing sonic knockout blows left and right. Backed ably by an equally explosive rhythm section, they combine their formidable and well-honed skills like perfectly synchronized jackhammers. Together, their musical synergy and pummeling riffage hit you three ways: hard, fast and continuous. The analogy of a prize fighter is particularly apropos here, as these guys are fighting for the right to create and play their music every moment of every day. They have to. They hail from a region of the world better known for endless political strife, oppression and poverty. I'm not rationalizing here.. that's just the way it is. Their music is steeped in that reality with a dedication, immediacy and urgency that is palpable.. and sorely lacking in the recorded product of most of their better-known contemporaries.

Gugun Power Trio is a product of their environment and they're tough, resourceful and resilient. They have to be.. to live, to survive.. and their music resonates that. Solid Ground is a watershed moment in heavy guitar beauty from the most unlikely of places, full of raw emotion and fiery honesty, incorporating bobbing twists and weaving turns, with every aspect of the listening experience infused with fire and brimstone. Impressive, groundbreaking and, dare I say: A MODERN CLASSIC. Once you've had a chance to hear this molten collection of amazing music from this most unlikely of locales, you will accept that statement as fact. - Jimmy Ryan (Truth Squad)


""Power Trio" certainly being the label of the day here"

I just loved the first Grooveyard release by Indonesian Gugun Power Trio, "Power Trio" certainly being the label of the day here. Gugun is a killer guitarist and an awesome bluesy singer, which he and his fellows, drummer Bowie and bass player Jono, immediately prove in the opening title track. Groovy, bluesy, rockin' and something it's totally impossible not to play air guitar to. Holy crap, this rocks!! It's got the classic riff-oriented Hendrixy vibe to it that I love. The album grooves, it sways and it swaggers. It's a versatile album within the limits of blues rock. There's the funky vibe in tracks like One Heavy Night and Vixen Eyes, the shuffle groove in Mission, the cool blues in Trampled Rose, the up-tempo strut in Silent Rider, yes, Solid Ground has it all. What I also love is that Gugun adapts his sound to fit the songs. It's not just one album-one sound. He turns the distortion up when it's required, adds some wah when it fits and keeps it quite clean when the song needs it. This is definitely one of my favourite blues rock albums of the year! - Janne Stark (Stark Music Reviews)


""Power Trio" certainly being the label of the day here"

I just loved the first Grooveyard release by Indonesian Gugun Power Trio, "Power Trio" certainly being the label of the day here. Gugun is a killer guitarist and an awesome bluesy singer, which he and his fellows, drummer Bowie and bass player Jono, immediately prove in the opening title track. Groovy, bluesy, rockin' and something it's totally impossible not to play air guitar to. Holy crap, this rocks!! It's got the classic riff-oriented Hendrixy vibe to it that I love. The album grooves, it sways and it swaggers. It's a versatile album within the limits of blues rock. There's the funky vibe in tracks like One Heavy Night and Vixen Eyes, the shuffle groove in Mission, the cool blues in Trampled Rose, the up-tempo strut in Silent Rider, yes, Solid Ground has it all. What I also love is that Gugun adapts his sound to fit the songs. It's not just one album-one sound. He turns the distortion up when it's required, adds some wah when it fits and keeps it quite clean when the song needs it. This is definitely one of my favourite blues rock albums of the year! - Janne Stark (Stark Music Reviews)


"Gugun Power Trio proves that the appeal of blues rock is worldwide"

Indonesia you say? Gugun Power Trio proves that the appeal of blues rock is worldwide. Solid Ground is their second release on Grooveyard records and it delivers some top notch funky blues rock. A group formed to play covers on the local tourist bar circuit has evolved into a crank up the volume worthy band. There are other releases by the same group out there as Gugun and the Bluesbug and Gugun Blues Shelter.

Gugun is the lead singer and guitarist for this group and he can deliver the goods. There is a clear connection to Jimmy and Tommy Bolin evidenced by the old school rock orientation of this album. The album tries to branch out into other sounds but it never strays too far from the straight-up in your face groovy guitar assault.

The album opens up with the synchronized patterned bass and guitar lines of Gugun and bass player Bowie on the track “Solid Ground” accompanied by the funky drumming of Jono. This group is truly a power trio. The funk continues with “One Heavy Night” as Gugun sings about the aftermath of a great night out. “Vixen Eyes” turns on the little distortion and some echo effect which result in a great solo over another groovy rhythm. Everything slows down for “Trampled Rose” where a beautiful melody, slow blues, and some fluid guitar work combine to create one cool ballad.

“I’m Juicy” is a fun song that makes a very short interesting use of the wha-wha pedal for the rhythm guitar at the break in the middle of the song. Still don’t quite understand the lyrics, but the song is great. The Tommy Bolin connection is front and center in Marching Strut, an obvious tribute which combines the best elements of Tommy’s songs “Marching Powder” and “Homeward Strut” into one song. Look up the component tracks and give them a listen, then you’ll understand. For something really different make sure you let the disc run out and catch the hidden track at the end.

Solid Ground lays a foundation for the Gugun Power Trio to continue to build on. Gugun is a fantastic guitar player who truly proves that good music and great players defy socio-politic-economic borders.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

- Solid Ground
- One Heavy Night
- Vixen Eyes
- Trampled Rose
- I’m Juicy

The Big Hit

- Vixen Eyes - Kevin O'Rourke - bluesrockreview.com


Discography

GUGUN POWER TRIO - Far East Blues (GYR072) ·

::T R A C K S::

01. WOMAN
02. TURN IT ON
03. FALLIN' DOWN
04. WHO IS TO BLAME
05. SPINNIN' AROUND ME
06. HOLDING ON
07. MOVE ON
08. TALK TOO MUCH
09. PLASTIC PEOPLE
10. NIGHT FLYING
11. EMPTINESS
12. GOOD THINGS, BAD THINGS
13. WHITE DOG JAM
14. WHISKEY WOMEN (ACOUSTIC)

GUGUN POWER TRIO - Solid Ground

::T R A C K S::

01. SOLID GROUND
02. ONE HEAVY NIGHT
03. SOUL ON FIRE
04. VIXEN EYES
05. MISSION
06. TRAMPLED ROSE
07. SILENT RIDER
08. I'M JUICY
09. FUNKY CHICKEN
10. MARCHING STRUT
11. (((HIDDEN BONUS TRACK)))
*** CRYSTAL MOUNTAINS ***

Photos

Bio

Ladies and gentleman, buckle up your Blues belts, hold on to your hi-hats and brace yourself…because this is Gugun Power Trio.
Hailing from Scarborough, England, these three blues brothers have rocked crowds from Singapore to Chicago, Kuala Lumpur to London, Sydney to San Francisco…and next on the list is Madison Square Garden!
Influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bettie Davies, and Led Zeppelin, the trio first met at a jam session in a dimly-lit smokey Blues bar in Jakarta, Indonesia way back in 2004.
As conversations stopped, heads turned and drinks were dropped, it soon became obvious that they had a special chemistry…and so Gugun Power Trio was born.
Six electric albums later, the band have just returned from an action-packed 10-day US tour during which they had crowds begging for encores at venues such as Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood and Webster Hall, New York.
In Summer ’11, Gugun Power Trio fulfilled their life-long dream of playing alongside Hall of Famers Jon Bon Jovi, The Killers and Rod Stewart at Hard Rock Calling Festival, Hyde Park London.
Their electrifying blend of funk, soul, rock and blues has earned them rave reviews from critics across the globe and lead guitarist Gugun was recently voted best guitarist in South East Asia by TRAX magazine.
Now signed to New York City’s Grooveyard Records, Gugun Power Trio are taking the world by storm, currently touring Gugun’s home land, Indonesia.

Gugun Power Trio International Stages:

KL Blues Festival 2008 – Malaysia
Singapore Timbre Arts Festival 2008 – Singapore
UK Tour – August 2008 (Colne Blues Festival, Belfast Big River Jazz & Blues Festival)
UK Tour – January 2009 (Skegness Blues Festival, 229 club London, BBC World)
Singapore Grand Prix Race Event – September 2009
Jakarta International Blues Festival – 2009
Java Jazz Festival 2010 – Indonesia
Singapore Rock & Roots Festival 2010
Java Rockin’land 2010 – Indonesia
Jakarta International Blues Festival 2010 – Indonesia
Shanghai World Expo 2010 – August 2010
Shanghai World Expo 2010 – October 2010
Java Jazz Festival 2011 – March 2011
UK Tour, May – June 2011
Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park, London – June 2011
Java Rockin’land 2011 – September 2011
Jakarta International Blues Festival 2011 – December 2011
Festival Indonesia 2013 – September 2012
US Tour – November 2012